#12JanvyeMDeside: The Woy Team shares what action the 2010 earthquake inspired us to take. We invite you to share the same using this hashtag on social media today.
The January 12, 2010 earthquake broke our hearts. In a way, we expected it to never be whole again. “Why Haiti,” we asked. Weren’t the poverty and political instability enough? Hadn’t we gone through enough? We felt hopeless and helpless. After all, we were not doctors; we were not aid workers; there was nothing we could do to help. Most of us were students. Some of us were outside of Haiti, and felt the hopelessness seep into our deepest being. This was it. This was the end of our beautiful home. This was the end to our people who had defied the odds, only to be defeated by Mother Nature.
However, slowly we began to regain hope, taking short-term actions and making long-term plans. The earthquake has inspired us to not sit on the sideline while we complain about the state of affairs in Haiti. The January 12, 2010 earthquake inspired us to get involved and to let our voices be heard. If there is one thing we all know for sure, it is that Haiti is home.
“After January 12th, 2010 I decided to move back home to Haiti. I always wanted to be home, but after the earthquake the desire became tangible and unrelenting. I didn’t want to miss out on being a part of helping Haiti stand again. So I got up and moved. On February 17th 2011, with my 2 kids, no job, and no prospects.
I had big plans, to work in development, to be on the ground, hands on. But as I patiently waited for employment my heart got robbed, first by Haitian art, and more rigorously by the artisans. As I started working with them it quickly dawned on me that this too could be my way of helping Haiti. I started working with and welcoming some artisans to my house, to see their work and bring new ideas to them. I was amazed at how they worked, with the little bit that they had, and how quickly they learned. I started with showcasing their work online, to now giving them a venue to sell their work with the opening of my shop. This helps them support their families. I am proud of the work that I do boosting Haitian arts and crafts all over. I proudly answer to the name Mrs. Made in Haiti, it fits perfectly with what I was clearly destined to do: promote Haiti. #12JanvyeMDeside “
Nathalie N “I was in my last year of law school in Florida when the earthquake hit. In 2011, shortly after graduation, I moved back to Haiti. I applied and received a child protection fellowship. I worked helping the government advance children’s rights issues. I also worked with children in prison, and children who were victims of sexual violence. In the past three years, I have focused on changing legislation, and reforming the child protection system, particularly adoption in Haiti. My pledge to Haiti is to never lose hope, never feel helpless; to always do my part in her progress. #12JanvyeMDeside“
“I was at a friend’s house in Bois Verna, Haiti, lying down when the earthquake started. I quickly got up and walked home to see if my family was alright. By the next day, I had tracked down the rest of my immediate family. I really felt as if it was the end. On the night of January 13th, there was the most beautiful night sky I had ever seen in my life. I felt that all the stars that were shining were the people who had died, shining for us, telling us not to worry, tomorrow will be better.
I was already an architecture student as Quisqueya University. A friend of my father’s who is from Spain told my father that he would help me move to Barcelona to continue my studies. The next day my father announced to me that I would be moving to Barcelona. From that day on, I knew that my career as an architect had a very important role in rebuilding Haiti. To me, after the earthquake was the ideal opportunity to redo urban planning, to rebuild better. I saw my role in that. Whenever I am discouraged in my studies in Spain, when I struggle with the language, when I want to give up: I envision myself going home with my diploma, it will be a victory for my family, for my country. #12JanvyeMDeside“
“It was the middle of my senior year of college in 2010, I was in Haiti visiting my parents for the Christmas break. I was supposed to return to Philadelphia for my final semester of undergrad the following day when the earthquake hit. I was eating dinner with my little sister and best friend, and my father was upstairs. I immediately ran outside, and watched the house I grew up in fall to the ground piece by piece with the people I love still inside. Miraculously, everyone was okay.
I was finally able to return to the U.S. two weeks later. It was hard to focus on my studies after living through such trauma. I had a lot of feelings and thoughts, and I needed a way to channel it. I began writing more music, but I needed something more. That is when I began blogging. My blog essentially became my journal, my therapy open for the public to read along. I blogged about my feelings after the earthquake, about my fears, my hopes for Haiti, my frustration with the post earthquake Haiti news coverage. This is what birthed my dream to one day be an integral part of leading the narrative of Haiti to the world; it led me to see the need for more Haitian voices telling Haiti’s story. In a way, for all of the Woy team, January 12th gave birth to Woy Magazine. #12JanvyeMDeside“
This day will forever be the day we each lost a piece of ourselves. Let it also be a day of inspiration on how we can help build Haiti.
Join us! Share with us your stories about how the Haiti earthquake has inspired you to take action using the hashtag #12JanvyeMDeside. Share in whatever language you wish, what initiatives have you already started? What future goals has the earthquake inspired? No dream is too small
Graphic by: Gio Jules
Photograph by: Samuel Dameus